Matthew 5:13-16

“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.”

“You are the light of the world – like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”

Matthew 5:13-16 NLT

I get tired of carrying around my trouble. Don’t you? My trouble is anxiety. It can get into my head and muddle me all up really badly. IF I don’t acknowledge it and care for it and let myself be a fragile human with complexities and troubles that is. Who am I kidding? It still muddles me. I still have to daily draw myself back into the present. Medicine yes. But training the mind daily the will to be in the present right where GOD is being GOD over everything that I love and cherish – giving me the breath – them the breath – another day with him. Breathe. I don’t deserve this grace. And I know it.

It seems like if I lean into who I am – short comings and strengths – I live a better life. Really what I mean is I need to lean into my weakness – rest, step back when I need to. Let God be God. It’s hard and we all know it – letting Him rule over us. How much better, bigger our lives might be if we do.

I think that’s part of what He wants to teach us in our troubles that He chooses to help us cope with on earth but never totally takes away. You have one or two also, right? Take a deep breath with me and lean into who God made you to be.

 

I’m not really someone who reads the news. I just don’t see the purpose of me getting involved with things happening far away from me when plenty of things are yearning for me close by. So, I avoid details of happenings unless I can be of some benefit to the situation. And usually, if it’s on Facebook or any other place, it can do with out my emotions or attentions because tons of people are all over it. I was about to get pulled under earlier today and then I remembered to apply what Jesus says, “Abide in me.” And that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. See, if we are abiding with Jesus He will protect our hearts and minds from unnecessary stress and worry. HE will give us the strength to do what He wants us to do. (Maybe people like to wallow in others misery so they don’t have to think about themselves?? I don’t know.)

And very often I find that He wants me to rest in His peace ~ keep doing the next thing in front of me and believe it or not to smile and count my blessings. For example, I am getting over my giant cold! And I am very glad about that! We received our Christmas cards to mail out and they look good! Our kids did their school lessons and got dressed today – since yesterday I was a nearly dead frog in the bed all day and they LOVED that freedom. Me too I guess. We all need breaks to read and be alone and have a lot of congestion. ha ha!

I hope you can find a rhythm to living in these times where we know more than we need to and yet often forget the very things that can give us life just for today.

 

Today, I was caught by little annoyances.

I had just finished my Walmart online grocery order and before I could press ‘reserve’, it emptied my cart. I had a list and I new what I needed. But it was still annoying.

I have a cold and I could barely sit up long enough with out my head pounding to function without ample caffeine in me. My husband brought me water and then I fell asleep for what must have been 2 hours – woke up with my church makeup all looking crazy except for my fabulous lipstick that doesn’t smudge – but my hair… somebody call the doctor.

And why can’t I get the chair to desk combination set just right while I type? It always seems to be too high or too low. These are my troubles…now what to do about them… they aren’t going to go away.

I did the laundry and the dishes while my husband drove the kids where they needed to be. I didn’t micro manage. I didn’t suggest. This is the kind of team work we have to work on — doing what needs to be done to run a family and take care of one another. And doing it so the people want to return home.

Only Jesus can help me live well. Only Jesus can impart gentleness, goodness,forgiveness patience, hope in me.

I called my mom to hear her voice so I might feel less like I have a cold and it worked a little…

Or it got me thinking and I forgot how annoying hot lava feels running down my insides. I did not expect my mama to fix my troubles. I did not think in my mind and barry in my heart that my life would work SO much better if I lived next door to my Mama. This is progress for me and maturing.

Deepened trust in my Heavenly Father and His presence and availability in my life.

We can’t lean on our blessings – our human relationships so much that they become our little gods. The Bible calls this idolatry. It’s so sneakily disguised as “good and right” but it’s anything but that when it’s making us act ugly or miss our purpose in life.

There are a few things in life that seem acceptable to man but God who really knows because He invented it all says, NO. Or better yet He says “Be holy now in everything you do.” 

And in case you are like me and the word holy is well weird to you – well its definition isn’t weird at all – it’s soothing and peaceful. Like broth going down your throat – broth that has been simmered all day in vegetables (by someone who has that kind of time.) Holiness is something that we have to quiet the insides of our heart long enough to receive from God.

We don’t make ourselves holy. That’s Gods job and be glad because He doesn’t EVER slam doors or get cranky when He has a cold.  God is the hot hot apples sauce you want at your table.

And go ahead and invite Him in~ HE CAN’T WAIT TO COME!!

 

When I’m the grumpiest I do myself good to remember I don’t have to live there in grumpyville.

Sure circumstances, little people and adult people can push my buttons.

But when I’m grumpy, here is the good and annoying fact: it’s my choice to be that way. See, my husband and I chose to bring these kids into our life. I like being a part of a family.

I like my people – I even learn to like the problems they bring that if I stop being grumpy by first admitting that I’m irritated and in all my perfect idea everything would now to to me  (ha ha ha I’m near tears rolling at this 😂) no but really – when I let the struggles drive me into patience and depth of person – when I push out the junk that tries to live in my heart, I can make room for good heart vibes.

Make time for the replenishing things God gives us.

Eral grey tea with milk and honey. Dipped with your eyes closed.

Music. Every single day. And I’m not talking about only kids music young mamas.

Long husband hugs often, if your shorter than your man you can even here his heart beat pumping ~soak it up. It beats for you and your kids.

Key lime pie – eat it.

Dance with your friends and don’t mi d sweating or working hard at it.

Dont quit parenting your children even though it would be much easier to. His strength is perfect.

Much love,

Erin ❤️

 

truth and anxiety are not friends

“Stand firm then with the belt of truth buckled around you.” Ephesians 6:14

Anxiety tells us that we aren’t going to be able to handle something in the future. And it wraps our heads around fear of what if so tightly that nothing else can break through.

EXCEPT TRUTHtruth always wins. And it helps me to remember that I’m not in this battle over my mind alone. Jesus has my back. He wants me to be relieved of the non existing fear of the what if that hasn’t happened so I can live in this present moment with the things and people He has given. Right. Now. This matters. Just this really matters.

Thinking and living like this frees me up to build a life. Remember when that was what people did? Let’s do it again. Lord, won’t you help us? Life is the moments not the milestones. I think YouTube and reality TV (which I watch some of both myself) have caused us to think life is about The Big. But it isn’t. It’s like we are all waiting to be discovered or something – given permission to live –  but see we already have been discovered and fully loved, wanted and cared for by the One who made us.

God ~ 

All the moments matter – other wise our bodies wouldn’t be made to need food through out the day. Ample sleep at night. Daily movement. Using our minds to think. All of this is the living that matters and makes up a life. None of this needs anxiety.

You’ll get in enough. God promises. Look at all that He has given us just today. It’s enough right? It may not be exactly what you want but that could be partly perspective which can always be adjusted ~

“Dear friends, God the Father chose you long ago and knew you would become his children. And the Holy Spirit has been at work in your hearts, cleansing you with the blood of Jesus Christ and making you to please him. May God bless you richly and grant you increasing freedom from all anxiety and fear.” 1 Peter 1:2

pesky days

The thing about living, well it’s just so daily.

And daily is difficult… it’s so… well… reoccurring I guess you could say.

BUT it beats the alternative.

I saw a lady at the zoo wearing a shirt that said ‘Every darn day’. (You’re welcome for the gently written version.) I thought yes, yes you are right. Did I mention I wore my colors all bright and happy and just the way I like them to the zoo? And that I wore my happy laugh and my hair in a pony tail. (And I took my good attitude even though this place is stinky.) It was a great day ~ We made it that way ~ It wasn’t today though.

Back to the dailiness… well today – I mean just nothing was easy. My neck and back wouldn’t cooperate again and the chiropractor made some not so funny joke about putting me back to my ‘normal’ then he politely said ‘not that you were never abnormal.’ And while he didn’t insult me I JUST FELT INSULTED THAT MY BODY IS SO DIFFICULT TO LIVE IN. AND WHAT IF IT NEVER WENT BACK TO ‘NORMAL’. HOW WOULD I ADJUST TO THAT?! It reminded me that I just had a birthday. Then I was going to buy the face cream that I like and I thought to myself perhaps I needed to buy the 35 and over cream. Ho hum. Age is beauty. (said no woman ever)

I couldn’t get the tomato can open. But then as sort of to remind me that its going to be ok my husband walked in from the garage and patted me on the back and took over the can troubles I was having. I told him I needed some help.Then the kids finished boiling the noodles (carefully with adult supervision).

I did the laundry. I folded it too. The kids put it away. We tag teamed the dishes. We have groceries in the house. I made pumpkin bread last night and didn’t eat half of it. I had some toast with light butter instead. (These are high points to me since it was my birthday and I ate chocolate every day whenever I wanted all weekend. I had to stop eventually.

I had bought flowers for the kitchen last Thursday and they still look pretty. My husband and kids got me 2 necklaces for my birthday and gave me hugs. (I like hugs.) And I think I’ll wear the necklaces a lot because it’s like a hug around your neck from people that you love… I like love, don’t you?

While I was typing this just a minute ago – all of the font got really small and I had to figure out how to make it big again. See, these things aren’t bad problems but I’m a mom and I just don’t have that much time. But really, really I do – I just need to use it better maybe. I don’t actually know. So this is why I like that life is daily. Because all days whether great, good ,sort of great or bad DO HAVE TO COME TO END.  It’s in the rules. And I like most rules.

“God’s in the business of changing hearts. We would be wrong to think this change happens overnight. But we would be equally wrong to assume change never happens at all. It may come in fits and spurs- an “aha” here, a breakthrough there. But it comes.” Max Lucado

 

1 Corinthians 13:1-4

If I had the gift of being able to speak in other languages without learning them and could speak in every language there is in all of heaven and earth, but didn’t love others, I would only be making noise. If I had the gift of prophecy and knew all about what is going to happen in the future, knew everything about everything, but didn’t love others, what good would it do? Even if I had the gift of faith so that I could speak to a mountain and make it move, I would still be worth nothing at all without love. If I gave everything I have to poor people, and if I were burned alive for preaching the Gospel but didn’t love others, it would be of no value whatever.

Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong. It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out. If you love someone, you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him.

 

“I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope He has given to those he called – His holy people who are His rich and glorious inheritance.” Ephesians 1:18

I was reading these words in Ephesians this morning and they felt like water to my heart.  Maybe you could use a heart drink this morning too.

More often than I like, I don’t feel confident. It’s annoying and gets in the way but I have to say that there is an up side to being real with ourselves and Jesus – we get what we really needed in the first place ~ more of Him.

There will always be things to accomplish and do in our lives (this is good living) but what we don’t have to do on our own is make ourselves. God wants to do that.

He keeps pressing it into us through His word –

I will be your light, I will be your goodness, I will be your inheritance.

“…In this world you will have trouble, but take heart I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 

 

If being a born again Christian was about being perfect, then I could never do it.

If having salvation meant that I had to pay for all of my imperfections while on this earth or in the after life someday then I would be in muddy water – I couldn’t do it – I wouldn’t do it.  I think I’m tough until I find out all that God is carrying for me. It’s a lot. And as my Heavenly Father He most definitely wants to carry my loads.

But if it means, and it does mean, that I can come to Jesus with my struggle and my need then I’m all in.

I watched people work hard and hard work is good but we just don’t have to work for our Jesus’ love and approval. Just accept it.

Their is this thing about becoming holy like He is holy though. He does require us to slowly follow Him and let go of our old ways of doing things. And He is good for it. He keeps His promises. His burden is light but it isn’t always easy to swallow when He asks you to let go of the way you were seeing things.

See it’s all about security.

But keep letting go and letting Him in and you’ll keep finding

He is Secure.

He is Strong.

He is enough.